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Patience and The Braise

With the great burst of energy that came with my second cup of coffee this morning, I began to make dinner.

It was 11:37 am.

Diced the carrots. Chopped the leeks. Diced the celery. Smashed the garlic.

Heated the oil in the dutch oven.

Floured, salted, and peppered the veal cubes.

Sipped the coffee.

Seared the veal.

Sautéed the vegetables.

Added the veal back in.

Sipped the coffee.

Covered it all in red wine. Let it bubble. Covered the dutch oven.

Put it in the 250* oven. Set the timer.

Three hours.

Waited.

Busied myself with the radio and the dishwasher and some cookbooks.

Waited.

Lowered the oven to 200*. Reset the timer for longer.

Waiting.

The smell is torture. It smells amazing.

The five Special K cracker chips and one wedge of Laughing Cow cheese isn’t assuaging my hunger for the braise.

I’ve realized recently that I am impatient.

Painfully so.

I can wait in a line. I can sit in traffic. I can wait for food in a restaurant.

I am impatient, though.

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My ability to keep a good attitude while waiting–waiting for something big–has been tested. And I’ve been failing lately.

The braise in my oven should be a lesson. I willing to wait for that–that sweet, unctuous, earthly delight that is veal slow braised in malbec for 6 hours–and more importantly, to keep a good attitude while waiting.

That sweet, unctuous, earthly concoction can’t be produced quickly.

You have to wait.

And it is worth it.

Lean Cuisines and Hot Pockets–microwaved quickly and flash cooked–suck. This is a universal truth.

The best things in life are just like braises. I can wait for the braise.

I can wait for the best things, too.

Attitude adjustment, starting now.

Shifting Gears

After a year of membership, today I cancelled our gym membership.

We love our gym.

It had everything.

It was an awesome place.

But I kept realizing that when I went, it was usually only for yoga and never for the treadmill or pool. And Steve was barely going because there was just something not clicking, I guess.

So we didn’t renew, rather than renewing and having $80 auto debited from my checking account every month so I (we?) could feel guilt because it wasn’t the perfect fit.

During a recent conversation about my general winter miserableness and my complete lack of patience in waiting gracefully for change, my best friend said something to me that I had either not realized, or if I did, I actively dismissed it out of some deep rooted ridiculousness (for the record, I guess option b). She said “Cut yourself some slack, Kel. You didn’t know you didn’t want it until you did it.”

On the grand scheme, this applies. One hundred percent. To the moon and back. Forever and ever amen. This is my current state of mind. And it is hard.

But realizing that this was the case, and that this was FINE and NORMAL and HEALTHY, it started to become obvious that this applied in all these little facets of my life, too. My health and exercise routines did not escape application of this newly discovered prism.

So, I was going to this stellar amazing wonderful gym…but always only hitting the yoga classes? And I was always grateful for those yoga classes, but wanting some variety. I didn’t know that I HATED running on a treadmill, or that I would only feel the urge to Zumba like once a month.
I didn’t know I didn’t want it until I did it.

Same for Steve. So? So we left. Big whoop.

Yoga made me happy, variety made me happy, so I bought a 10 day pass at a crazy-awesome-looking yoga studio and promptly signed up for four classes over the next two weeks. I spent a small fortune at Athleta, upgrading from my flimsy, not-sticky-anymore Target yoga mat to a Manduka mat, and buying a few new things like a bag, pullover, and headband.

Steve is researching Crossfit, which is much more his style and level of anti-boredom.

And then, we shifted our gears.

And it was fine.

Happy New Year, Friends

Our tradition for NYE has always been to feast on several courses of food and booze all night at home. And we love it. There’s no allure to going out on NYE for us. We love staying in on that night.

This year’s menu was….

Cava

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Bacon wrapped, goat cheese stuffed dates

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Brie cups

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Sweet pepper poppers (…I forgot to take a picture until after they were gone and Edith was licking my gorgeous Tracy Reese plates!)

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…and then we sliced into a beautifully roasted boneless leg of lamb.

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We watched Sopranos all night (and we’re watching it now…!) and the dogs slept and begged for food.

This morning, we had some sweet cold lobster, bacon, and a fennel, opal apple, and mandarin orange salad. And cava. Of course.

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I’ve been home all week so far, and I am somewhat dreading going back to work. Pajamas and cuddly puppies are much nicer than work, I don’t care what you do for a living.

Looking forward to a new year. This past year has been…challenging. Hoping for some change and some progress this year, and working toward some longstanding goals. Keeping up with the weight loss, finding my happiness, and building stronger relationships with my friends and loved ones.